Rural Broadband Powers Thousands of Jobs and Billions in Economic Output, New Study Finds

For Immediate Release

Contact: Carolyn Just,, (703) 351-2015

Arlington, Va., (September 6, 2019)—The Foundation for Rural Service (FRS), in partnership with Purdue University and the Center for Regional Development, today released a research report finding that small, rural communications providers contributed more than 77,000 jobs and supported more than $10 billion in economic activities in 2017. 

The report, “Job Creation from Rural Broadband Companies,” uses data culled from members of NTCA–The Rural Broadband Association to conclude that rural broadband companies are significant economic drivers in their communities. Researchers also found that the positive economic impacts of broadband stretch across 29 different industries from banking to health care, and even sports. 

“Although rural telecommunications providers are typically small, they make a significant economic impact in their communities,” authors Roberto Gallardo and Indraneel Kumar conclude. The anticipated increase in broadband adoption and integration across individual and commercial activities only furthers the economic significance these small, rural providers will have in their communities.  

Data for the analysis were obtained from ReferenceUSA, the telecommunications management firm JSI, and FRS. Funding for the report was provided by FRS, thanks to a generous contribution from the Rural Telephone Finance Cooperative. 

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